Here’s something I think about all the time: in 2013, Maya Rudolph played Maya Angelou in a skit on Saturday Night Live. It might be my favorite skit ever? First, there’s the fact that SNL even aired a skit that name-dropped/dunked on a bunch of writers, which is . . . not their usual gambit. Secondly, there’s Rudolph’s blithe, perfectly tuned impression, which slays from the first “Hello, child.” (That voice!) But of course, the part that really makes it so good is the pleasant subversion of seeing a revered literary hero putting a pie under the butt of Morgan Freeman, not to mention performing other acts of whimsy at the expense of her esteemed colleagues, and narrating the whole thing in front of a background I definitely remember from my middle school picture days. Angeloony indeed. Watch it for yourself here, but prepare to get addicted:
A final note: six years ago today, we lost Maya Angelou, who was of course one of our greatest poets, and a balm to many. The only reason this skit is so funny is because of how important she was, and is, so here’s the real Maya Angelou performing “Still I Rise.” Today’s a good day to watch it again. We were lucky to have her.